A visit to the Doctor’s office was feeling mediocre at best, with a side trip to the office’s parking lot where Rowan wanted to romp amongst parked cars. As I stepped outside to behold a vista of Honda and Subarus, I sighed at the landscape knowing today’s fresh air would be with the tires and asphalt. As I trotted to keep up with Rowan a major difference between us struck me: me = discriminating. Rowan = non-discriminating. Like a quick thud of realization descending upon my head, I flash awareness that really this parking lot too is sublime, or at least it can be in the heart of the beholder.
I began to muse about when the human conditioning for discrimination between ‘good’ and ‘bad’, ‘interesting’ and ‘not interesting’ emerges in the spectrum of human development. Right now the world is the proverbial oyster for Rowan, with almost everything inciting glee and wonder. I’ve been subtly dragging my heels at his vast taste for trucks and car wheels of late, and his keen attention to such facets of reality as carbon polluted black snow on road sides while out for a walk, or shards of broken glass or ripped up paper in recycling bins. He makes me look more closely at everything I’d otherwise gloss over with relative disinterest, my eyes conditioned to call some things beautiful and other things ordinary.
All of the sudden the parking lot becomes the vehicle for seeing the moon, sky and trees in the same light as that parked SUV with a crack in the window and rusted tailpipe. Why differentiate? How did the parking lot become sub par and cast off as a place to tune out, ignore? Rowan brings his fresh, alive perspective just about anywhere, seeing the infinite possibilities for pleasure in unlikely places. He reminds me that the sublime is everywhere to be found, as long as I cross the threshold of wonder into non-discriminating joy in each moment’s infinite expanse of possibility.